Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Health Care Forum on Monday June 1

This is a time probably like no other in our lives to have an impact on policy regarding health care. We know there will be something new coming out of the federal government in the coming months, and the question is, will it be any good?

As one who’s on Medicare now for three years, may I say that this is not government health care like our pioneer and buffalo-hunter ancestors would have despised if they had known what the future would bring to those lifeless European socialist countries. Medicare is just like what I had before, though the copays and premiums are higher now. I get the doctors and pills that I choose and need. I don’t try for more doctor appointments – already there are way too many – and I fact I try to cut back and consolidate: my cardiologist also is my primary care doctor, so one appointment kills two birds in one bush, I like to think.

This is medical care to treat my ailments and also checkups to make sure I’m not coming down with something new – what tens of millions of our fellow citizens (and many mere resident taxpayers) need to keep their chins up and shoulders to the grindstones.

Yes, this is single-payer, or sort of. We all pay premiums throughout our working life and into retirement, and the system should provide checkups at appropriate intervals as well as treatment when we’re sick. (Let’s not forget dental! There’s an area that needs better care.)

In the Miami Herald today there’s a story about a new health plan coming in Miami-Dade County, said to be a model of affordable health insurance, perhaps a model for the nation. Wow, it says a healthy 35-year-old man could get coverage for $100 a month. What a deal for the insurer. A healthy 35-year-old probably needs one checkup every five years, costing about $100. Meanwhile, he’s paid $6,000 in premiums, and when he gets old and sick his premiums probably will skyrocket like one of those balloon mortgages.

This may be a deal for some people who are desperate, but for a society struggling with extremely high costs for health care and drugs, it seems here that the public option and single-payer are superior for this nation.

Here’s a commercial for our forum on health care. Y’all do come. You can say what you want, hear from experts some telling detail about our situation in Miami-Dade, and plan action.

When: Monday June 1, 7 p.m.
Where: American Legion Hall, 6445 NE 7th Ave., Miami (on 64th Street just east of Biscayne Boulevard).

Footnote: Single-payer is a big fat misnomer in the present state of health care in this country. I pay a monthly premium to Medicare (and did for decades while working), I pay a monthly premium to Aetna for my supplemental insurance, yet there are still copays and annual minimums for office visits, and out-of-pocket costs for medications rise more steeply than anything else, though I have insurance for pills.

Single payer? More like quintuple payer.

1 comment:

Lesline said...

looking forward to the forum tomorrow...